Mainstream Islamic Conferences Have a Longstanding History of Normalizing Anti-Blackness

eman idil
  • Ismail Afrah

    Many people are keen to highlighting the ugly truths in Muslim lives, institutions, values, ideas and even Islam itself for reasons that are malicious. No one is able to read minds, but from your words you seem to me TO NOT BELONG TO THAT GROUP that wants Muslims alienated from their communities. You seem fair and critical; In that spirit, let me say a few things in response.

    In your critique it is hard to figure where the blame stops -with racist Muslims who have white pretentions or with Muslim spaces and institutions. Of course, I understand the entangled nature of persons and institutions made in their image, but the stakes are high for us to merely throw the baby with the bath water. Given that the largest Muslim gatherings whether RIS, ICNA, ISNA and Mosques everywhere are organized by persons and groups with troubling ideas be it racial, patriarchal, or class; it is true that whatever fruit they bear is bitter, but It is far better TO STRUGGLE with these persons and NOT TO GIVE UP on the only existing Muslim Institutions. This is a HUGE DISTINCTION that seems lost to you. The bad exists with the good also in these same institutions. I think you your self are not blind to the good these spaces and institutions do for Muslims. The single narrative you construct about these institutions of the bad things Muslim do, in the spirit of critique is extreme.

    For that reason I sense your critique does not come from within a Muslim frame of reference. Even if a thousand of your points are legit and well intentional, if it comes from a place of liberalism, those points CAN AND IS USED to create a false one sided single narrative. What is worse is that Muslims who seek FROM YOU, A MUSLIM ASSESMENT OF THE FACTS AND A MUSLIM INSPIRED REMEDY you end giving ARELIGIOUS LIBERAL ASSESSMENT AND SOULUTION. WESTERN MUSLIMS HAVE AN UNCONCIOUS INTENALIZED LIBERALISM THAT INFROMs HOW THEY APROACH MUSLIM LIVES, INSTITUTIONS, IDEAS, VALUES, AND ISLAM ITSELF. THIS IS MENTAL COLONIALISM AS WELL. I EQUALLY SUFFER FROM IT as I think you do.

    A Quranic principled solution is this from SURAH ASR:

    “By time, Indeed, mankind is in LOSS. Except for those who have BELIEVED and done GOOD DEEDS and ADVISED each other to TRUTH and ADVISED each other to PATIENCE.”

    So, as Muslim if we want to succeed and not LOSE our institutions and mosques to misogynists and racist: (1) we ought to be grounded in the frame of reference of Muslim BELEIVE, (2) DO GOOD DEEDs such as struggling with misogynist and racists and (3) us you are doing ADVISE each other with the TRUTH of the existence of anti-blackness and misogyny in our communal institutions and spaces and (4) lastly remain PATIENT with our efforts in such struggles in our institutions and spaces and not walk away.


  • Faz

    Thank you!